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Marty Two Bulls Honored in Herblock Prize Competition

The recipient of this year's 2017 Herblock Prize Finalist is Marty Two Bulls, Sr., longtime editorial cartoonist for Indian Country Media Network.
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Marty Two Bulls can count another coup in his illustrious career: He has been named the Finalist in the 2017 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning. Each year, The Herb Block Foundation holds a competition to draw attention to the art of editorial cartoons, and to award two prizes to “distinguished examples of editorial cartooning that exemplify the courageous, independent standard set by Herblock.” This year’s winner is Ken Fisher, better known by his pen name Ruben Bolling, the cartoonist of the weekly comic strip “Tom the Dancing Bug.” Bolling, last year’s Finalist, will receive an after-tax award of $15,000 and a silver trophy from Tiffany’s. As Finalist, Two Bulls will receive a $5,000 in prize money.

Like Bolling, Two Bulls has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists when he received the Sigma Delta Chi Award for editorial cartoons in TK (Bolling received the award in 2011). This year’s panel of judges for the Herblock Prize was composed of Mark Fiore, last year’s winner; Matt Wuerker of Politico and a prior winner as well; and Martha Kennedy, curator of Popular and Applied Graphic Art at the Library of Congress.

“It is an honor to be selected as a finalist for this prestigious award and ranks as one of the high points of my editorial cartooning career,” said Two Bulls. “To be recognized by my peers in the cartooning community gives me a special pride knowing that other professionals feel my work is worth commending.

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“Cartoonists work in solitude; we never hear the laughter or angry groans of our readers. So it still comes as a surprise that my readers enjoy the work and reach out to me with a note of thanks or praise. I view such occurrences the way a proud parent receives accolades about an admired child. The artwork takes on a life all of its own.”

Two Bulls, Sr. has contributed to Indian Country Media Network since 2001 since the days of the weekly newspaper, Indian Country Today. The work recognized by the 2017 Herblock Prize spanned a wide-range

Make A Stand. Water Is Life by Marty Two Bulls, Sr.

Make A Stand. Water Is Life by Marty Two Bulls

of pieces from 2016, including some of Two Bulls’ now-iconic panels on Standing Rock and the NoDAPL Fight. “I’m Native American, Oglala Lakota, and as such I view the world from that standpoint. The issues I choose for my editorial are news and events that affect my Native readership,” said Two Bulls. “I decided along time ago that when it comes to my cartooning, I was going to do what I wanted say and not what my editors wanted. Because it has to be the very best drawing that I can produce, it has to speak to what I have in my heart, and only then will I put my name on the cartoon.”

Ruben Bolling and Marty Two Bulls, Sr. will be honored at a Herblock Prize ceremony on March 29 held at the Library of Congress. This year’s Herblock Lecture will be delivered by United States Representative John Lewis (D-GA).